Bucer on Pastoral Care & Evangelism, Once More

I have previously commented on Martin Bucer’s earnest comments on the importance of evangelism and personal pastoral care drawing from his book, Concerning the True Care of Souls. I have recently come across further comments along the same line in his work, De Regno Christi (On the Kingdom of Christ).

I share this as a further example that our Christian forebears saw pastoral ministry as more than preaching. It is not less than preaching, but it requires personal interaction with individuals as well as Paul made clear in the summary of his own ministry in Acts 20:17ff (which is the text Bucer alludes to in the following quote).

Those pastors and teachers of the churches who want to fulfill their office and keep themselves clean of the blood of those of their flocks who are perishing should not only publicly administer Christian doctrine, but also announce, teach and entreat repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and whatever contributes toward piety, among all who do not reject this doctrine of salvation, even at home and with each one privately. . . . For the faithful ministers of Christ should imitate this their master and chief shepherd of the churches, and seek most lovingly themselves whatever has been lost, including the hundredth sheep wandering from the fold, leaving behind the ninety-nine which remain in the Lord’s fold (Matt 18:12).

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